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Food prices increase in Lagos markets

The price of staple foods are on the increase in Lagos markets, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

A market survey carried out in Mushin, Oyingbo and Apongbon Markets, on Wednesday, indicated increase in the prices of foods items such as garri, yam, onions, groundnut oil and palm oil. However, reports that prices of food items such as rice and beans remained stable as they were during the Yuletide season.

The Caprice brand of rice remained at N9, 000, while other brands such as Special, Mama Gold, Mama Africa and Tomato remained at between N7, 500 and N8, 000. At Oyingbo Market, a big sack of onions, which sold for N36, 000 before the rainy season in 2010, now sells for N42, 000, while eight big pieces were sold for N500 as against N300.

Sulaiman Audu, an onion trader, said that the increase in the prices was due to the heavy floods in the northern part of the country which washed away onion plantations.

Roseline Chukwuma, a trader, selling foodstuffs, attributed the increase to the difficulty encountered by the farmers to harvest their produce. “Farmers had complained to us that the land is very hard to dig due to the dry season,” she said. “As a result, they said they experienced a lot of difficulties in digging the ground to harvest.”

At the Mushin Market, the price of palm oil had also gone up by 49 per cent within a period of two months. As at November, a 25-litre gallon of palm oil was sold for N4,000, while it was currently sold for N8, 200. A 25-litre gallon of groundnut oil was sold for N7, 200 as against the former price of N5, 800.

Bosede Adewale, a palm oil seller at Mushin Market, said that the prices of palm oil and groundnut oil were increasing daily. “It has been very difficult for us to buy these commodities from the Nigerian producers,” she said. “Now, we go all the way to buy them from Cotonou and our customers do not understand our plight.”

Adewale said that the Nigerian Customs made things difficult for them at the border to bring the products to Nigeria, adding that the cost of transport contributed to the increase.